Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I wanted to get this update out before folks sit down at the dinner table with their families. Now, when the discussion gets too heated, you can pull out your phone with flair and yell "Hey, check out this cool video from Conversations With US!" It may not resolve the arguments, but at least it will help you make it to the pumpkin pie.
As many of you know, the end of CWU Tour #9: Big Skies & Rocky Mountains signals the end of my long-distance, multi-state cycling and interviewing. When I rolled into Colorado I reached state number 49. It was a bittersweet moment, knowing that only a few hundred miles in Hawai'i and months of typing lie ahead. I hope to stay active on this website and on Facebook/Instagram, but I will likely retreat somewhat into a writer's cocoon. Don't hesitate to drop me a line to check in!
My final big tour was undoubtedly the most physically challenging I've undertaken. If it wouldn't sound silly, I would say it was the most soaring as well:
Those clips were part of a few dozen that I filmed as components of a documentary I hope to put together covering some of the behind-the-scenes and other aspects of the project that won't necessarily make it into the books. The two geological extremes in the video demonstrate the diverse breadth of landscapes I encountered during my 1,750 miles through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Colorado.
Here are some highlights from the second half of the tour, which I finished at the end of September:
Day 22 -Downey, ID
Make that population 627
Day 23 -near Preston, ID
A road crack with an uncanny resemblance to a smiling cow, or the heretofore unrecognized renegade artwork of an anonymous highway worker?
Day 24 -Ogden, UT
CWU is headin' west
Day 25 -Salt Lake City, UT
Exploring roots at the LDS Family History Library
Day 26 -Salt Lake City, UT
Mormon Tabernacle Chior
Day 27 -near Helper, UT
A chunk of roadside coal
Day 28 -Helper, UT
Depression-era message to train hobos, clinging to wall of old empty building
Day 29 -near Moab, UT
Some sort of abandoned rancher's hovel off the highway (of course I went in).
Day 30 -Arches Nat'l Park
Day 31 -Moab, UT
Took a day off and ate an entire pizza for dinner
Day 32 -Moab, UT
Took another day off because this article made me realize I might need some more rest
Day 34 -old Utah/Colorado state line marker
Reaching state #49 was a big deal
Day 35 -Fruita, CO
Claw marks on a dinosaur bone shown to me by Bob Whitehorne
Day 36 -Grand Mesa Nat'l Forest
Mostly to myself
Day 37 -Aspen, CO
Shopping would have to wait
Day 38 -Independence Pass
Day 39 -Twin Lakes, CO
Among the first signs of autumn
Day 40 -Leadville, CO
The Climax molybdenum mine (whatever that is)
Day 41 -Loveland Pass
Arrived at the top, despite the long-range weaponry
Day 42 -Denver, CO